To a lot of people, a project manager’s role starts at analyzing tasks and ends at assigning these tasks with a deadline. However, there is much more than you can anticipate. Project management is not a closed-ended task, it is rather an array of activities. It is a science that imparts deep understanding and knowledge of every project task, process, and workflow.
All these tasks, processes, and workflows when correctly streamlined, form 5 phases, which we have discussed below. Even when you complete a project management professional training, you will come across these 5 phases.
5 Phases of Project Management
In a PMP course, you can learn to apply the knowledge, tools, skills, and techniques of various activities collectively to fulfill the requirements of a specific project. Through these 5 phases, you can execute the project with the same level of skills and knowledge using similar tools and techniques.
Let’s see what are these 5 phases:
1 . Initiation
When you start a project, the main aim is to define what your project is all about. This includes your broad-level goal and business case. Once you have defined your business case, you need to research the feasibility of the project and the features of the project. This means that it is necessary to conduct a few feasibility tests.
Finally, this phase concludes by creating a project initiation document that contains a wide description of project requirements and purpose.
The planning phase doesn’t just include a verbal discussion of how you will execute a project. In reality, you need to draw a roadmap to success. Every step or minor-task should have a clearly defined goal.
You can achieve this in two ways: CLEAR or SMART.
CLEAR goals are collaborative, limited, emotional, appreciable, and refinable. These goals are more about the environment of the project than the goals of the business.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This method helps you track every goal without any issue. After defining a method for goal setting, you have to define the project’s scope and create a
plan. This includes:
- Available resources
- Realistic timetable
- Performance measures
When you are creating a project management plan, the responsibilities and roles of every individual and involved stakeholder are clearly defined. This means that you need to decide which individual is responsible or accountable for what task. To achieve the same, here are some of the documents which are created:
- Scope statement containing the benefit of business, deliverables, objectives, project benefits, and milestones.
- Work breakdown structure containing visual segmentation of the scope of the project for an easy understanding of the team.
- Milestones to identify project deadlines throughout the project life cycle.
- Gantt chart to plan tasks and timelines of these tasks.
- Risk management tasks to understand all the risks associated with the project.
In this phase, the deliverable of the project are developed. A lot of activities are executed at this time such as creating reports, development updates, meetings, and performance reports. Usually, an initial meeting is conducted to kick start the project.
Here are some of the tasks which are executed during execution:
- Team development
- Resource assignment
- Execution of project management
- Procurement, if required
- Management of tracking systems
- Task assignment
- Status meetings
As the name suggests, it is all about controlling and monitoring the performance and progression of the project. This phase specifically focuses on ensuring project timelines and efficiency. In this phase, you develop, find, and utilize multiple key performing indicators to understand the progress of the project.
Check out the below KPIs to understand what type of indicators are used in this phase.
- Project objectives to know that the schedule, timelines, and budget of the
project meet the requirements of the project.
- Quality which helps you specify the quality of the project.
- Cost tracking which helps you track the cost spent on resources and overall
budget (and related performance) of the project.
- Project performance considers every feature together to understand if the
project is working efficiently in a particular budget.
This phase is related to project closure. Finally, once the project is completed, the project manager creates a report and collects all deliverables. This helps in assessing the final efficiency of the project. You can also note the difficulties and drawbacks of this project for future projects.
Project management contains several tasks that a project manager needs to execute in a cstreamlined manner. These phases help the project manager to systematically understand and cevolve processes. With a deep knowledge of these project phases, you even reduce the costs cand time needed to deliver the project.